About Ray McKinley
AUTHOR AND SPEAKER ON OVERCOMING LIFE’S ADVERSITIES AT WORK, IN FAMILIES, AND WITH INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
I was raised in Fraser, Michigan by my father and mother along with eleven siblings. My childhood seemed normal at the time, however as I reflect back on it now it was unique. It was a childhood filled with love and anger, fear and hate, pain and sorrow, suffering and loss. With times of great joy and times of great sadness. With feelings of unworthiness and perpetual fear. I was always trying to please, always trying to earn love, but never could make up for the mistakes I made.
I grew up on our family business, which happened to be a private airport, base for 140 private aircraft. My chores began when I was 8 years old, including cleaning the hangers, pumping gas, cutting grass, and tarring roofs. At 12 years old, I spent the summer and weekends on the family farm bailing hay, pruning Christmas Trees, planting corn, and tending to the livestock. At age 15, I was put on a bulldozer, dragline, and earthmover to construct, on the family farm, a 27-hole golf course.
I eventually went to college and graduated from the University of Detroit Dental School. I opened a dental practice in Macomb County, Michigan. I am married to my wife Lynn and the father of six children and 5 grandchildren. As a consummate learner I was hungry for answers to life’s questions.
I became very interested in education and life-long learning. I served locally on The Excellence in Education panel and was appointed as a delegate to the White House Conference on Education. I served as Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and placed an emphasis on integrating character development and ethics in the schools.
As a dentist in Shelby Township, Michigan for 45 years, as well as a secondary school educator, I have taught professional groups, church leaders, and educators on numerous topics related to character and personal growth. They include:
- “Blame, Excuses, Victimhood: The Antithesis of Personal Responsibility”
- “Motivation and Inspiration: Conformity vs. Authenticity”
- “Achievement vs. Character: Our Prideful Nature”
- “The Harmful Effects of Praise”
- “Value-judging of the Self-Righteous”
- “Agreement Base Relationships: Being Accountable”
- “Content and Situational Ethics: Does the Ends Justify the Means?”
- “Unforgiveness: What is it Costing You?”
I never aspired to be an author, though I did yield to the persistent requests of hundreds of my students, seminar attendees, coworkers, and family. All echoing comments similar to – “Please write a book, so many more can benefit from the process you have invited all of us to employ in our lives.” Hence the book Ride the Elephant and the creation of this website.
My prayer for you is that the book and resources on this website will identify the BIG questions in your life. Remembering that some of the BIG questions lie in this book and website, however the answers lie within you. May your journey be blessed and bright.